News

Progressive Labor Party Organizes Solidarity March With Harvard Yard Encampment

News

Encampment Protesters Briefly Raise 3 Palestinian Flags Over Harvard Yard

News

Mayor Wu Cancels Harvard Event After Affinity Groups Withdraw Over Emerson Encampment Police Response

News

Harvard Yard To Remain Indefinitely Closed Amid Encampment

News

HUPD Chief Says Harvard Yard Encampment is Peaceful, Defends Students’ Right to Protest

Somerville Murder Trial Begins

By The ASSOCIATED Press

During the first day of jury selection for the trial of accused 17-year-old killer Edward S. O'Brien Jr., attorneys impaneled four jurors and estimated it will take two more days to seat a complete jury.

Once the 12 regular and four alternate members of the jury are chosen, prosecutors estimate the murder trial will last about three weeks.

O'Brien is charged in the July 1995 stabbing death of 42-year-old Janet Downing. Downing, who was stabbed 97 times in her living room, was O'Brien's Somerville neighbor and best friend's mother.

O'Brien was 15 when Downing was killed, but a judge decided he would be tried as an adult. Just before jury selection began yesterday, Middlesex Superior Court Judge James McDaniel agreed to let prosecutors present several contentious pieces of evidence. The judge said he'll allow testimony regarding O'Brien's feelings toward the victim as well as testimony about an alleged conversation O'Brien had with Downing's son in which he said he wanted to hurt someone. The judge also ruled prosecutors could present evidence they say shows O'Brien tried to sell a knife similar to the suspected murder weapon.

Jury selection will continue today.

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.

Tags